How did your cardiac ablation go?

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I have a cardiac ablation scheduled next week.  A bit nervous over possible complications that I understand are rather rare such as clots/stroke, esophageal damage due to TEE scope, heart damage etc.  I'm a 40 year old healthy male and have had random afib (a few times per year) for several years, but recently I've been in and out of it daily over the last 3 months.  My cardiologist placed me on 2 different anti-arythmia meds and the current one works well, however I have daily afib episodes that last a few minutes and then I'm back in NSR.  The meds give me minor vertigo like symptoms and it simply feels as if I've got something synthetic inside me.  The doc has recommended an ablation at this point.  I'm a pilot and can't go back to work until this is resolved so it looks as though this is the best option for me.  Does anyone know of someone or personally have had complications during or after this procedure?  I'm quite confident all will go well as it's a top end hospital/electrophysiologist, but it's good to be mentally prepared in the event something happens.  Thanks for your input!  

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  • Posted

    Hello- I hope your Ablation goes well. I went to Tachycardia and had to have my heart restarded in April 2014. I've had an irregular heartbeat since my early 20's and I'm now 43. After being ICU for 2 days and in my own room after 2 day, lots of tests and different meds they couldn't keep the rate down so the EP Dr. did an ablation . It took me a while to recover because I have a low immune system. I'm now seeing a new surgeon because I'm having problem heartrate up and BP up just walking a short distance. I've tried 3 different beta blockers and nothing works. My new EP has me on a heart halter for a month and said theres 2 other meds he's like to try before going back in to see whats going on. I had an extra pathway that was zapped and burned closed and the EP said sometimes when the swelling goes does the pathway can open a bit or sometimes other problems can happen. Sometimes one alabation doesn't work and on others it does. My lifestyle has changed and its very depressing. I wish I didn't have the ablation because I felt a lot better but I had no choice. I wish you the best of luck and hopefully the first one is a charm for you.
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  • Posted

    Hi Allen, I'm having a cryo-ablation (in New Zealand) on March 4th so would like to compare/share how we both are afterwards if you'd like? I've tried numerous medications, altho like you my current one (Flecainide) is the best, but I still have AF/dizziness/dry retching every couple of weeks if I do too much. Have really fought here to get the ablation although I must confess to occasionally wondering if I really need it and whether I want to take the risks. However if it would mean coming off my medications it would be great. First of all they could fail some time in the future and I would then be too old to have an ablation. Also I think I've adapted my life to cope with the AF and side effects of pills - not lying on my left side, walking slowly and not too far, getting up slowly because the mornings were my worst time etc- so if those changed with the ablation it would be fantastic. I'm trying to be very positive about the risks while also realising there has to be risks with any procedure like this. They are reduced if your EP does them a lot and yours sounds a good one. I read the risks are comparitively rare (unless you develop one of course!) similar to having a tubal ligation (not you of course!) Sounds like you really need the ablation because of your age and job, and as you say being mentally prepared is vital. We'll be fine - keep in touch. Maggie
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    • Posted

      Hi Maggie, Lankylass here, haven't heard from you for quite a time, I remember you replying to my first post in July when I had just been diagnoses with AF, thought you were a night own but then you said you lived in NZ, my family do too. Glad that you got something sorted, I'm sure that your ablation will be fine and that you recover well, hopefully you can get back to 'normal', touch wood I have been fine since my cardioversion, hope it stays that way, still on the bisoprolol 5mg and warfarin, been fine on both but need to watch the wine intake with warfarin, bugger!! Good luck, let us all know how you get on. Cheers. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Lankylass,

      Well am now 3 weeks post ablation - it went smoothly and just had to learn patience because could only go for slow, short walks since. I think I'll improve as time goes on, 3 months seems to be time when you know if it's worked or not - will gradually come off pills and we'll see what happens.

      Pleased to know your cardioversion worked - how are you now?

      Cheers Maggie

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    • Posted

      Hi, I see your name is 'Lanky Lass' so I gather you're very tall? Just to be on the safe side, have you been tested for connective tissue disorders such as Marfans Syndrome? It's just that being tall with heart problems can be caused by one of those. :-) 

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  • Posted

    Allen the simple fact is you need it done to get you back to normal day to day living, I am having the abalation in a few month,try not to worrying beleave it or not I'm looking forward to it " scared yes very much so" but the freedom of not having Afib anymore I will do anything ☺ Chill your boots you'll be fine ☺ good luck pal
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  • Posted

    all will go well next week  im sure, think of all of us here hopeing to hear how it went and i hope you hear from someone who has had it done take care
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  • Posted

    Hello All,

    Thank you for replying to my post.  This is more nerves than anything else.  I just want everything to go well and it really helps to reach out on forums like this to get some reassurance from others that suffer from this condition.  You can explain it to family/friends until you're blue in the face, but to those that don't have Afib they simply can't understand and this procedure sounds very radical and dangerous to them.

    Devin, you were cardioaverted in April?  Were you put out for the shock?  I was shocked the first time I went into Afib 3 months ago.  I was given a heavy sedative and it still felt like I got hit by a truck, no fun.  Thanks for sharing your story smile  Keep your head up as things WILL get better.  It sounds cliche', but do things that make you happy.  I'm in the gym a fair ammount and always feel better when I'm around others that are working out.  I'm praying and believing this one ablation does the job.  Roll with the punches, right?  Stay in touch and let me know how you're progressing!

    Maggie,  I'd love to compare our 2 procedures when done.  I'm having mine done in the US in Minnesota.  It's very cold here (-9c) so it's nothing compared ot the beauty of New Zealand.  I must say I prefer Vegemite vs Marmite.  My wife's an Aussie so I'm a bit biased smile  Funny that I'm using a tool  that produces heat for my procedure and you're using a tool that freezes smile  Considering our climates you'd think it should be reversed.  I'm glad Flecainide works for you.  It gave me vertigo like symptoms and I switched to Propafenone which works well.  I still have daily Afib that only lasts an hour or so late at night.  I agree that staying on the meds long term is not the way to go unless one can't physically handle the surgery.  I've somewhat adapted my life to this as well, however when the upper chambers of my heart beat our of sequence it feels as if it's hitting my esophagus and feels very odd.  So, I'm one of those people that can feel when I'm in Afib and simply have to ignore the symptoms and go about my day.  I told my dad that it's like a crazy person that sees people that aren't there.  You know they're not there and have to force yourself to ignore them because no one lese can see them.  Odd analogy I know, but it's hard to ignore your heart when it's beating 160bpm and feels like it's going to jump out of your chest.  Thanks again for sharing your story.  We will both be laughing about this soon enough.  Stay in touch.   

    Steven,  you're correct that the prospect of being free from this condition is worth the risk of the ablation.  Best of luck with yours.  Let me know how it goes.   

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    • Posted

      Hi Allen, Yes I so agree about family/friends not realising what it's like with AF - I get many comments like 'But you look so well!" - I began to feel I was being a hypochondriac. When I was having episodes every day I just felt so wiped out afterwards and on Bisoprolol I got very depressed (my GP didn't believe it was the pills until I suddenly felt better when I came off them). I also can easily tell when I'm in AF - palpitations, dizziness, nausea etc - I don't know how you cope with work, it must be quite hard. I'm a recently retired Hospice nurse so don't have that to contend with that anymore.

      So you're married to an Aussie, well because I'm actually 'a pom' (came here from Sheffield in 1972) I don't feel I have to be rude about Aussies as most kiwis feel obliged to be! And I like Vegemite and Marmite (being diplomatic!)

      Well maybe your ablation will warm you up and mine will cool me down! It's amazing that with AF everyone seems to have different symptoms (or none) and different reactions to drugs - I guess that's why it's hard to treat.

      I'm sure we've made the right decision and I can't wait to get mine over with now. It'll be a breeze and it'll give us a new lease on life! All the best. Cheers Maggie

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  • Posted

    Hi Allen just read your post and wanted to wish you the best of luck with your ablation. Along with the forum being about A.F your post also struck me because I am also a 41-year-old healthy male and this A.F can be a real challenge at times!! Frustration is an understatement, unpredictability, monitoring what you eat, do, and just the general way A.F can make you feel at times. I was only speaking this week about the mental challenges of A.F (for want of a better word) which do not often get spoken about. For example every time you have an episode, you go through how you can avoid another bout of A.F. Constantly going over possible triggers in order NOT to have another episode. One of the biggest, making sure you stay calm If you're about to go into A.F or in A.F as panic or additional stress is not welcome in any way shape or form! Over all my personal management is very good but it doesn’t stop the above feelings mentioned because the truth is, even when you’re not in A.F it’s still in the back of your mind no matter how faint! Over the years I’ve learnt how to manage and avoid where possible the bouts of A.F with exercise, diet & rest, and this goes a long way in regards to management.

    I happened to speak to my doctor during the week and we discussed the possibility of ablation (not now) but as a possible option if I felt I wanted to go ahead with it! Just to let you know (though I know each case is different) overall he was very confident about the ablation procedure and commented on how high the success rate was! Of course the individual personal medical history gets taken into consideration too. I take it you've tried all the medication options? Again, I wish you all the best and pray it goes well.

    Jay

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  • Posted

    Allen- Jay is right. Diet, excercise and plenty of rest. I've changed this plus I take vitamin D, B12, magnesium, Calcium and zinc beside the Beta blocker. The Dr's restarted my heart with meds through the IV. Stopped and restarted it twice. Worse feeling in the world. This past weekend I did a bit much and my heart has been giving me some pain. Just aggravating and my family doesn't get it. I spoke with a friend of mine who had her 3rd ablation and now feels great. Took me 6 months to heal but for her a week each time. I don't want to go down that path. Thanks for the encouraging words. Like I said I see my new EP surgeon and get halter off on the 14th of next month. If he tells me another Ablation I will do it. Please keep in touch.
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    • Posted

      Devin, I agree that nutrition plays a strong role.  I've been on a high quality multi-viatamin and eat rather healthy, lots of salads etc.  I wish I had the luxury of time to experiment with foods/vitamins, but I'm out of work until this gets resolved.  I'm quite envious of the standard worker in their cubicle that can go back to work a week after their ablation.  Starting and stopping your heart?  Brutal.  I'm hoping that this one ablation does the trick.  At 40yrs old I'd like to have some quality of life for the next 40 years!

      Jay, thanks for the kind words.  I wish you the best as you meander down this path as well.  No one likes an invasive surgery, but the meds are an equally difficult animal as they create their own side effects.  Our bodies weren't mean to be on these meds for any length of time, especially being this young smile  Hang in there and know that theres a lot of us going through this with you.  I'll be sure to report back sometime after the ablation on Friday and give you an update.  Cheers!  

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  • Posted

    Hi Allen, yes when you have the time please let us know how the procedure went. Wishing you a very successful procedure, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Jay
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  • Posted

    Hi Allen012

    i had my AF Ablation 2 days ok and so far so good. I'm a 48 year old female and have suffered with AF in my right Aetrial chamber for 7 years. I've been cardioverted 3 times and managed to get myself back into normal rythem a couple of times. I was put on Fleconide and felt like my blood vessels were on fire. So my Cardiologist recommended the Ablation. To say I was nervous was an understatement, I was crying on the morning as I was so scared. I'm happy to say here is nothing to worry about apart from some slight discomfort in the chest and having to lay still for several hours afterwards due to the cut in your groin. I'm now home and resting. I've found taking some panadol extra for the chest pain helps. I've not had any fluttering of my heart but have been told to expect a few episodes of AF as this is normal. My Cardiologist has suggested I may need another ablation later on id I have more than 3 AF episodes in a few months. I am determined to do everything in my power to stay calm and stress free so I don't have any AF episodes as I want this to work.

    I live in Perth West Australia and we have a very good Cardiovascular centre here. I'm hopeful and positive this will work but will let you know if I have to have another one. Personally I feel that I needed to get it done now as the older I'm getting the more frequent the episodes and I don't want to get to the stage of not being able to have it done and risk of stroke.

    good luck and I wish you all the best, you'll be fine, have faith! 

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    • Posted

      Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for sharing about your ablation.  I'm glad it went well!  It's good to hear it was fairly easy for you.  I'm confident things will be the same for me tomorrow, but I can relate to your nerves epsecially the morning of the procedure.  I agree that getting the procedure done earlier is key with age/stroke concerns.  I'll hope with you that this one ablation will be enough for both of us!  I'm sure you were in good hands in a Perth cardio center.  Thanks for the kind words and I'll be in touch!

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    • Posted

      HI Michelle,

      I just read your post on your ablation 2 years ago. I am scheduled to have mine next week and feel very nervous. I'm wondering how yours worked and how you are now? Thank you for any input! Diane

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    • Posted

      Hi Dianne I am not Michelle but maybe my comments may assit?  l had my cryo ablation 8 weeks ago in Geelong Victoria. ( see ealrier post below these comments) The actual proceedure- no issues.  Pre op my body shakes so the sleep doc gave me a shot of something.  The whole thing is painless and such a relief you wake up with no AF.  I did have a rare gastro complication that lasted 5 weeks that was unplesant despite the anitacid meds but again small potatoes really.

      ​I am also one of the 30 % that have to have another AF proceedure left Atrium again as some of the electrical connections have been remade ( stupid heart trying to repair itself) So pre op bpm was 240 now post op AF is at 120 bpm. But I can say I am relaxed and looking forward to the proceedure this time in two weeks.  I suggest so can you.  The only fear is fear its self. I suggest the fear is thought of the procedure and not the actual procedure. Once you are in and ready to go its all cool bananas and after it you will wonder why you were fearful.  Goodluck  

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    • Posted

      Thank you Neil!! I hope your second procedure goes well! I bet you will be fixed right up after that ! I'm trying to be positive. I have two young sons and the Afib has changed my life in such a negative way. Even though I only have it once a month or so, the episodes are very scary. I'm praying that this will fix my heart right up and I can go back to running around crazy with my kiddos!! 💗💗

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    • Posted

      Hi Diane my 2nd ablation is tomorrow and I am excited and cant wait. yes AF is scary yes its darn restricting . I did pass out while playing my sport.  I was going to make a sporting come back at 50 years old, referering, and coaching and wrestling with my two young fellas and do some travelling. All on hold now for the past 9 months. 'Cause I passed out, once I was referred and stress tested my cardio bloke insterted a loop recorder in my chest.  Thats a beaut as it records the AF episodes and with a manual clicker gives a greater sense of control .  The recordings are wifi'ed to a bedside monitor and then mobile phoned into Medtroinc then to the docs inbox. . I was having episdoes I didnt know I was having. I didnt care about the ones I didnt know about of course . My guy tells me as do others you don't die OF AF, you die with AF ( although it feels you are going to). Itsa the opposite of a heart attack.  I have also read the sooner you ablate the better . Mine started off as once  per month . looking back, the big heart heave, I  had for a few years and blamed it on stress bubow wrong!.  But then AF increased in number and duration.  If  yours at once  a month is interferring with your enjoyment of life then treat it. For me the fear of triggering an attack was and is as bad if not worse than the actual AF. My guys suggested surgery fairly early on based on my AF.   I asked to try for the drugs which we did . One made it worse, the fletcitide, and the other, diltaziem didnt make it worse at least. To stop the AF episode,  I have tried as others, a hot bath seems to work . I cant remember the  name of a manourve where you hold you breath and bear down. It feels like your head is going to explode but it can reset your heart beat .  I didn't for me though.  When its bad I lie down and go to sleep.  Has drug therapy been sugggested to you?   Mt TOE went okay yesterday and the big day is tomorrow!. Bring on my ablabation tomorrow, bring it on! Trust this helps you.

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    • Posted

      Hi Neil - I had my ablation 3 days ago and am feeling fine now except for the medications. I am on Rhymol and Diazapam (sp?) for 3 months and they are making me nauseous and exhausted. Small price to pay if my afib is gone! Does your doctor put you on meds for a time after the procedure? How did your last one go? Does your doctor think he got it all this time ? My doctor said I'm a very good candidate for "one and done" but of course you never know. I hope you are well!! Diane

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    • Posted

      Congratulations!!. Dizapam is about anti stress anxiety it relaxes you i think People pop one when they are flying to relax.they be disagreeing with you or it could be surgery and being knocked out?  I reckon if after 3 days more you still feel the same call your doc and ask them if you can change meds.... Yes my doc put me on anti nauseia meds as the proceedure can upset the GI tract and the first op did just that.  Since my second op I am back on the anti reflux tab one per day for 5 weeks. My diliaziem calcium blocker that relaxs the heart muscle this time  I can stop after a month. I am on blood thinners to guard against any (heart) blood clots although I am not in any other clot risk groups. I am on them for 2 months post op. Your rythmol reads the same as my diltiziem. after my first op i was great for a week them i could feel the odd irregular beat then AF.  the docs say the op can bring on further attacks for the first week or so but if that happens its doesnt mean anything wrt to the long term benefit. I am day 3 post the 2nd catherter burn ablation and fantastic. my chest is so so quiet.  I hope this the end of that 12 month chapter of my life.  Yes the doc is certain he got two of the only spots that werent isolated the 1st time.  YAH!! Fingers crossed for you too. It is major piece of surgery and shock to the ol bod. even the general anthestic can knock you around for a few days or more.  Hapopy to keep chatting and and hear the its " one and your done" for you. smilelol

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    • Posted

      Hi Neil. Congratulations on your ablation being over and sounds like a success! I'm curious, did your doctor put you on rhymol for a time after either procedure? Also it's dilizem (so?) that I'm also on. I'm actually feel quite good now except for this Rhymol which really make sure me feel terrible. My doctor prescribed the rhymol, dizapem and eliquis for 3 months. What about your doctor? It doesn't seem that all doc prescribe rhymol. Hope your doing well.

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    • Posted

      Hi Di thats great you are feeling better. Btw what part of the world are you in? I have never been on rythmol​. I got put on diltiziem to minimise the impact of the Af  but it doesnt stop it.  so that happended prior to my first op as i wanted to  ensure that the op was the only fix available, due to the risks of the procedure. The AF  effects even with the diltiziem were unacceptable. So post  1st op diltiziem  eliquis and pantoprazole ( anti acid reflux) for 3 months. Post 2nd op diltiziem  ( for 2 months) eliquis ( for 3 months) and pantoprazole ( anti acid reflux) for 2 months. Cheers  Neil
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    • Posted

      Hello! I wanted to share my story.

      I had a EP study & ablation on Saturday (just gone) and they ended up doing something different using mapping and ended up that my SVT was in the atria but was a line of pathways from the two nodes but my phrenic nerve was lying on top, so they had to pace my nerve (made me hiccup several times) to then be able to ablate it. Turns out it's rare and the surgeon sees one every year out of all the ablations he does! It's focal atrial tachycardia. I had local and no sedation but ended up staying in overnight as a few hours afterwards my resting hr was around 120bpm! When I started to move it shot up to 150bpm! I also can't walk up stairs at home now - I severely get out of breath, to the point I feel like there's no air in the back of my throat. Wondering if this is some sort of phrenic nerve damage even though the surgeon said it was a success and no damage. Also unsure about the tachy. I'm seeing the consultant in 6 weeks, so not long to wait, but unsure whether to see the family doctor for advice incase it is damage..

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    • Posted

      Wow Georgie yes i feel you being an " annual  trail blazer",  not something you really want to hear.  When I discussed phrenic nerve ?damage (and also on this site) the nerve although not damaged can be a little "shy" for a few days. Did you read the same things? I reckon ring your consultant, don't wait for another short 5 weeks and ask them those questions. You aren't being silly go on give them a call as they said what you had done was unusual. 

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    • Posted

      Oh and yes after my first lab stay under local they tricked up my heart to similar rates and when I sat up I had the same effect as you did. My bloke said it was the drugs they used to get the heart into  AF
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      They said I have no phrenic nerve damage. I don't want to bother the consultant and getting hold of him would be a nuiscance as I don't have a direct contact for him. I'm going to visit my GP tomorrow and see what he thinks. It's been 3 days now and heart rate is still the same as it was.

      They didn't tell me about phrenic nerve damage as that wasn't the original procedure, I was just told when the first plan didn't go well, that they can do another approach but it takes ages and what did I want to do. I said well do whatever, I'm here so seems best to just do it now. I don't think the consultant knew the problem was underneath the phrenic nerve until he used this other approach by mapping my heart.

      I'm due to travel from the U.K. Next week to the states and really hoping I'm okay to do so!

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    • Posted

      Hi Georgie I think there is still a difference between damage and upset but perhaps I'm wrong. With either hypothesies the nerve does recover. I hope your research and your local MD can shed some light and your ol heart settles down for your travels. Cheers  Neil

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    • Posted

      Thank you. I'm off to see the doctor this morning. Heart rate has been rolling at 120-130bpm majority of the night and it's making me feel awful. It's then been rising to 150bpm just by standing.

      Safe to say I feel worse than I did before the ablation!!

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    • Posted

      Hi. I saw the doctor who phoned for an ambulance! I was back in SVT.

      Got to A&E and it was gone. They sent me home on advice from the hospital who did the ablation. Phoned them and they said it's normal so soon after surgery. In the meantime I went back to the GP to advise him on what was happening - he said it's not normal to go back into SVT. He urged me to phone back the hospital, which I did and I've persuaded them for an appointment this week. Just waiting to finalise this. I feel like I am urging for someone to do something but generally feel so crap. Heart rate is everywhere and I've been advised not to go away based on this. I would rather have peace of mind before I go away regardless if it's too early to tell or not.

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    • Posted

      Oh Georgie what rotten luck you're having. and an ambulance ride to boot! We both know AF can get stirred up after the procedure and it doesnt mean its not fixed, as odd as that sounds. Thank you for the update. Hey on the bright side your AF stopped for a moment while at emergency...... Good you that you got an appointment are not wating for another 6 weeks to see your heart guy. You are so right you have to take control of your health and ask those questions and push for those answers.  Yes I would want to know whther it is normal or not and what if any risks are facing me before I travel.  Luckily I travelled around OZ for 3 months prior to my first proceccedure.  Please keep in touch Georgie, fingers crossed things settle.

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